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Maryland Smith To Host ‘Being Black’ Speaker Series

Feb 01, 2019
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The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland will celebrate Black History Month 2019 with a series of events featuring African American business leaders and entrepreneurs. Each week in February, Victor Mullins, Maryland Smith’s associate dean of undergraduate programs and Chief Diversity Officer, will sit down with featured guests to talk about their career paths, the challenges they’ve faced and their advice on making it in the business world.

Thursday, Feb. 7

“Being Black in the World of Entertainment Business”
Guest: K.J. Hughes ‘14, managing partner, Relentless Management Group
7 - 8 p.m.
Room 1518 Van Munching Hall

The first in the series is a conversation with current executive MBA student K.J. Hughes ’14, a veteran of the entertainment industry. Hughes got his start hosting events and founding a nightclub, but moved into the sports world with his Relentless Management Group, a business management firm where his clients include NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL athletes, as well as others in the entertainment industry. He also co-founded Sons of Life Inc., a nonprofit that provides leadership, resources and mentoring to children of incarcerated parents. Hughes will discuss his personal career journey with Mullins, talk about the importance of relationships, and offer advice on excelling as African American in the business world.

Tuesday, Feb. 12

Brittany McCoy“Behind the Runway: Being a Black Fashion Stylist”
Guest: Brittany McCoy ’16, fashion stylist, CEO of Brittany Christina Collection
7 - 8 p.m.
Room 1511 Van Munching Hall

Brittany McCoy ’16 joins Mullins to explore her day-to-day life as a fashion stylist. She is CEO of the Brittany Christina Collection, a ready-to-wear brand that specializes in fashion-forward work attire for women. McCoy already has more than a decade of experience in fashion and retail. She launched her first brand, Dynasty By Brittany, created a fashion nonprofit organization and founded the 1st Annual Fashion Week on the campus of the University of Maryland, accomplishing goals she first set for herself as a freshman. McCoy has been featured in several fashion events including DC Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.

Wednesday, Feb. 20

Stanley T. Smith“Being Black in Venture Capital”
Guest: Stanley T. Smith, Venture Investment Manager, University of Maryland
7 - 8 p.m.
Room 1518 Van Munching Hall

Venture capital expert Stanley T. Smith and Mullins will discuss what it takes to land a career in the fast-paced world of startup investments. Smith recently joined the University of Maryland as a venture investment manager with UM Ventures and the Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. He previously worked as a venture investor for Syncom Venture Partners, where he helped to invest capital from a $275 million multi-stage media and communications venture capital fund. He has more than 15 years of experience in business development, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and investment banking for companies including Yahoo!, Overture, Universal Studios and Merrill Lynch.

Thursday, Feb. 28

Monique Rose Simms“Being Black with MILK & HONEY”
Guest: Monique Rose Simms, Co-Owner and Managing Partner, Milk & Honey
7 - 8 p.m.
Room 1511 Van Munching Hall

Mullins will talk with Monique Rose Simms, co-owner and managing partner of Milk & Honey cafe and catering company in Beltsville, Md., about her more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant and bar business. Simms attributes her success to her strong work ethic, attention to detail and high standards for quality and service. She will also discuss her new venture, Catch 22, a seafood and brunch restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Space is limited for these events, so participants must register to attend. All of the discussions will include time for audience questions.

Following the February events, Smith’s Black MBA Association and Hispanic MBA Association will co-host the annual Bradford Banquet on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The dinner and reception celebrate diversity in the Smith community and are attended by students, faculty, staff, alumni and corporate partners. Now in its 26th year, the banquet honors the legacy of William Bradford, a former Smith dean and finance chair.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.